Sunday, April 7, 2013

ARCING, SPARKING, STUBORN BRAKES AND WATCHING PAINT DRY

This week I took Thursday and Friday off of work to get a couple extra days to work on the Fiero. 
Thursday was spent welding the solid transaxle mounts, welding a plate to attach the front motor mount and continue cleaning and painting the cradle. After new axle seals were installed in the transaxle it was time to get out the hoist and put everything together.  I had to quit early on Thursday to take my wife to see Fleetwood Mac that evening so I would mount the transaxle Friday morning.
FRONT TRANSAXLE MOUNT
 REAR TRANSAXLE MOUNT


MOTOR MOUNT PLATE

Friday morning I picked up the cradle, painted the underside and gave the top side another coat. After a trip to the hardware store for grade 8 bolts and nuts for the solid transaxle mounts, it was rigged and bolted to the cradle, fitting nicely in the new mounts. There was enough time before dark to remove the drivers side brake.

 
TRANSAXLE MOUNTED

Saturday was on to the brakes. The calipers came off easily and as there is a parking brake actuator in the rear brakes, the piston has to be rotated to allow the piston to compress. After working for an hour trying to get something to fit into the indents on the cylinder, I was off to Autozone to rent a brake took kit. Just my luck, they had every pin spacing except the one I needed. I had to slightly modify one of the disks and was finally able to get the piston to turn. Once it turned about a half turn I was able to compress the cylinder all the way in with the regular compression tool that was in the kit. I decided to paint the brakes red to match the Warp 9 motor and after putting on a coat, the paint bubbled up in several places and looked pretty bad. I took a rag and brake cleaner and wiped all of the wet paint off of the rotor, cleaned some more with brake cleaner, dried with compressed air, and tried again. This coat was a little better but not much. I put the caliper aside to dry and started working on the other caliper. The notches in the piston were different than the drivers side piston and the tool would not work at all. I removed the nut from the parking brake actuator and turned the shaft. It threaded in and allowed me to compress the piston with the regular compression tool that was in the kit. This time I really cleaned the caliper with brake cleaner and went over all the surfaces with a wire brush, again drying with compressed air. After the first coat was applied, almost the same result as the other side. After drying for about 10 minutes the surface did smooth out a little, so I put on a second coat and put it aside to dry overnight. I had to run the rented brake kit back to Autozone and decided to call it a day. One of my co-workers owns a J. Gumbos so I headed over there to have dinner and down a few well deserved drafts.

Sunday I went out to install the pads and put the calipers back on the rotors but found the notches in the piston were not indexed correctly to allow the pad to snap into place. Again, I could not get the piston to rotate. I removed the nut from the parking brake actuator again and after turning a couple turns, the whole piston popped out; not exactly what I wanted. The good news is I was able to get the piston back in and the piston indexed to the correct position; The bad news was after 24 hours, the paint was still tacky and I had red paint all over me, not to mention the caliper looked like crap. After wiping it all down with brake cleaner again, it got another coat. It didn't look bad now but would need to dry for who knows how long before I can install it back on the rotor. So again, I am waiting for paint to dry.

PAINTED BRAKE TOP VIEW

PAINTED BRAKE SIDE VIEW 

 After the brakes are installed on the rotors and the parking brake cables attached I will start on the motor. I had considered getting a set of Helwig H60 Red Top split brushes but after emailing Tom Brunka at Helwig Carbon and describing the condition of the brushes,  I may just go with the existing ones. I will do a better inspection but there was close to 1/2 inch of brush sticking out of the holder and the commutator had a light brown coating with no signs of dark spots that would indicate arcing. I will blow out the motor, check for ground leaks, and inspect the clutch before attaching it back to the transaxle. Of course, with a new coat of paint on both the motor and adapter.

Didn't get as far along as I would have liked but did make some pretty good progress.

A STORY FOR NEXT TIME 


Thanks for visiting,

Randy

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